I’ve had a lot of comments and questions recently on acne advice, but as it’s not something i’ve ever had, i’ve not been able to answer. However, I wanted to put some basic advice together with the help of a doctor, to at least give those of you interested, a starting point with which to get specialist advice. You should also check out my beginner’s guide to acne.
Nothing destroys your self-esteem like acne. You look at yourself in the mirror and wonder when your acne will disappear. Perhaps you are supposed to take a photo on your graduation day, or you’re soon attending a wedding. Luckily, you can get rid of acne for good with the right treatments and lifestyle changes. However, in the meantime, as hard as it is, please try to not hide your skin away. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Below are some basic, beginner acne treatments to start trying.
Avoiding certain meals
To eliminate your acne, you need to cut back on eating greasy food, chocolate, sugar, dairy products and refined grains. Most of these foods are absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly after they have been turned into sugar, raising one’s blood sugar levels. Insulin in the body will try converting some of the sugars to glycogen. The excess unconverted sugars get pushed into body cells, and this has been linked to acne. For clearer skin, try eating complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, foods rich in zinc, and vitamins A, D, and E. These foods raise one’s sugar level more slowly, hence reducing the chances of having excess sugar in the body.
Acne treatment can either be achievedusing over-the-counter (OTC) medications or prescription medications. OTC drugs are usually packaged in the form of creams, soaps, lotions, and gels, and are applied directly onto the skin. Ensure they contain sulfur, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, and Retin-A. Occasionally, these drugs will cause skin irritations, but this typically stops after continuous use. In case OTC drugs fail, you can opt for prescription medication. A doctor will prescribe you some medications that are stronger than the OTC ones, as well as perhaps some antibiotic treatments too.
Avoid popping your spots
When you pop your pimples, bacteria beneath them get displaced further down the skin. This can lead to worse inflammation. The inflammation will cause more painful acne, while the displaced bacteria will end up forming more spots. Popping acne is almost like a reflex since it is how most people think acne should be gotten rid of, but it can do more harm than good. You need to try your hardest not to pick at your acne despite the temptation. Instead, seek proper treatment by getting the appropriate medication.
Give an acne treatment at least four weeks before trying another way
It is normal for people to be desperate for instant results. You may notice no change, and so you may quickly switch to another acne treatment. However, if you try another treatment within less than 4-6 weeks, it may worsen your acne. Using different products every few weeks may result in skin irritation, thereby causing new breakouts. It is important to stick to one treatment for 4-6 weeks before choosing to switch to another one.
Wash surfaces that interact with your acne-prone skin regularly
By surfaces, we mean washing your bedsheets, pillowcases, or hats as dead skin cells and bacteria can collect on them. If you reuse them without cleaning, you will encourage more acne build-up by introducing the bacteria to your skin. By changing your bedsheets and surfaces every week, you will notice a great reduction in your acne.
Shower after strenuous activities
Most people would typically just jump into bed to rest after a heavy workout routine. But it is generally recommended that you shower after working out, especially for those susceptible to acne. The skin produces oil and sweat during a heavy work routine. Oil and sweat trigger the formation of bacteria which, as earlier noted, promotes acne. Additionally, sweat may also trigger other skin-related issues such as rashes. Showering gets rid of the oil and sweat that contribute to acne.
Some acne can disappear with the techniques mentioned above. If you discover your acne isn’t going away, you can always visit a dermatologist. The dermatologist will try out a variety of treatments to heal your acne safely.